"The act of writing could amount to a kind of revenge. But empathy, instead, is McBee’s objective, the most important part of becoming real in one’s own eyes. ‘Being human,’ he concludes, ‘means being at the mercy of others.’ That’s a part of aspiration, too. We are born human; with hard work, we achieve humanity." Henry Giardina, New York Times
"McBee takes us in his capable hands and shows us what it takes to become a man who is gloriously, gloriously alive.”—Roxane Gay
Photo by Michael Sharkey for The Observer
Thomas Page McBee’s Lambda award-winning memoir, Man Alive, was named a best book of 2014 by NPR Books, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly. His “refreshing [and] radical” (The Guardian) second book, Amateur, a reported memoir about learning how to box in order to understand masculinity’s tie to violence, was shortlisted for the UK’s Baillie-Gifford nonfiction book prize, the Wellcome Book Prize, and a Lambda Literary Award, and was named a best book of 2018 by many publications.
Thomas is a television writer for Tales of the City (2019, Netflix) and The L Word (2019, Showtime). An editor and expert in audience and newsroom diversity, he has taught courses at the City University of New York’s graduate school of journalism and works with West Virginia University’s graduate school of journalism on grassroots reporting projects that challenge national narratives about Appalachia. He also speaks globally about masculinity, gender at work, and how trans media narratives shape all of our bodies.
Thomas was the first transgender man to box in Madison Square Garden, a “masculinity expert” for VICE, and the author of the columns “Self-Made Man” for the Rumpus, “The American Man” for Pacific Standard, and “Amateur” for Condé Nast's Them. His current column, Boys to Men, features conversations with celebrities about masculinity for Teen Vogue. A former senior editor at Quartz, his essays and reportage have appeared in the New York Times, Playboy, Glamour, Out, The Cut, and more. He (mostly) lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Jessica Bloom.